Tourism Malaysia through its regional office Tourism Malaysia Central Region, conducted a webinar discussing responsible and niche tourism preferred by the millennials, the impacts faced by the tourism industry due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and interesting career opportunities through niche tourism products.
“Exploring Malaysia’s Niche Tourism Segment: The Rise of Millennial Travel” was held on 8th July 2021 through the WebinarJam platform and was attended by both students and professionals of the industry. The webinar discussed the importance of promoting niche tourism products and incorporating more sustainable practices as measures towards responsible tourism, especially in preparing to restart tourism once Malaysia reaches herd immunity.
Being the most technology-driven generation today, the millennials are currently the largest group of the world’s population, at approximately 31.5% according to statista.com, making them an ideal demographic for the industry. Millennials, or Gen Y, is known to be the most educated generation especially due to the technology era, making them more aware and vocal of global issues such as climate change and sustainability.
With Tourism Malaysia’s new objective to promote Malaysia as the Top of the Mind Ecotourism Destination in the World, the webinar also discussed how the Malaysian tourism industry is now focusing on maximising the country’s existing resources through ecotourism, rural and experiential tourism, as well as enhancing niche tourism products such as birding, diving, and cycling. In addition, the webinar explored the shifting trend faced by MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, Exhibitions), one of the industry’s most important segments, especially after living in the new norm.
This webinar is the outcome of a collaboration between Tourism Malaysia and the Faculty of Tourism & Hotel Management, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Shah Alam. A panel of highly experienced professionals were invited as guest speakers, namely Mr Andrew Sebastian; President and Chief Executive Officer of Ecotourism & Conservation Society Malaysia (ECOMY), Tn. Syed Abdul Rahman Syed Hasan; Founder and Director of Kids Scuba Malaysia, and Mr Noor Ahmad Hamid; newly appointed Chief Operating Officer of Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB).
Mr Zulkifly Md Said, Director General of Tourism Malaysia, emphasised how the millennials have now become the industry’s most important marketing demographic, “The pandemic has accelerated the use of technology and digitalisation in all sectors and the tourism industry is no exemption. The millennials and the young travellers are quick to adapt to these changes, thus Tourism Malaysia realises the importance of this market segment in strategising marketing activities to rejuvenate the tourism industry.”